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7 Must-Know Men's Underwear Fabric Types

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Men’s underwear fabric is usually not a man’s biggest concern, but there are more options than just cotton and nylon. Men have a variety of choices when it comes to fabric. The feel and wearing conditions of each fabric type will dictate when and when not to wear a specific fabric type.

If your underwear isn’t comfortable or you simply want to try something new, the following 7 fabric types are essential for every man to know.

Cotton

Feel and Construction

Natural and breathable, cotton is one of the most common underwear types. It’s soft, absorbent and inexpensive.

Best Wearing Conditions

There are times when cotton excels, and times when it’s better left at home. For the majority of uses, cotton will excel greatly. The only time when I recommend ditching cotton for nylon or another material is when you are exercising. Since the material is absorbent, it will absorb your sweat, which is uncomfortable.

Modal

Feel and Construction

In the softness department, you’d be hard pressed to find men’s underwear fabric that is softer than modal. A manufactured fiber, modal is the best choice if nylon doesn’t fit your absorption needs.

Best Wearing Conditions

Less supportive than cotton or nylon, modal still provides enough support and comfort to be worn in anything from a suit to jeans. This material is universal, so you can wear it virtually anywhere and won’t have to worry about lack of support causing discomfort.

Nylon

Feel and Construction

Microfiber construction makes nylon a great material that is soft and keeps the wearer dry. Nylon is a great material for color retention, so you won’t have to worry about the fabric fading over time.

Best Wearing Conditions

Nylon is a great option for underwear worn to the gym, or for all-around use. The only issue is that the material will produce wet spots when worn in hot climates and wearing light-colored clothing, such as khaki shorts.

Polyester

Feel and Construction

Thin and comfortable, polyester is a synthetic material that is made in a laboratory. This allows the material to hold onto colors better than cotton, and the thickness level of polyester can be half that of cotton or other fabric types.

Best Wearing Conditions

Polyester is very light and thin, so if you wear tight-fitting jeans, this is definitely the underwear to wear. The only issue is that this material does not have high absorption power, so on hot days, it is not recommended. As an added bonus, polyester is very easy to wash and dry.

Rayon

Feel and Construction

Rayon has a very soft feel similar to that of cashmere. This material is made of cellulose or wood pulp and has a tendency to stretch.

Best Wearing Conditions

Due to this material stretching easily, it’s not the best to wear for all-day use. While soft and comfortable, very little support is provided. If you want to wear rayon, it’s recommended to only wear this material on a night out, or for a short duration.

Silk

Feel and Construction

Very soft and elegant, silk is an underwear type that feels great against the skin. Typically, silk doesn’t provide as much support as cotton, but that is because it is limited in its uses. Silk is highly durable and has the greatest pull strength of all natural fibers.

Best Wearing Conditions

Silk is very absorbent and is not a conductor of heat. However, very few people will be found wearing silk to the gym. This is the perfect fabric for a special night out, or when you want to feel sexy.

Spandex

Feel and Construction

Chances are, you’ve worn some form of spandex before. This material conforms to the body and is very durable. Spandex is often found combined with other materials, such as modal, to provide a tighter fit.

Best Wearing Conditions

Spandex fabric is more durable than rubber, so it is a great choice for all day wear. Spandex can be worn in virtually every circumstance with the fabric being popular for swim suits and cycling due to its lightweight and elasticity properties.

Every material has its own benefits and drawbacks. Most underwear types will not contain high levels of spandex or any at all unless used as a combination with modal or polyester to provide optimal elasticity. Silk is not an underwear fabric that is worn by most men daily, but it is a great fabric for those special moments, or when you won’t be working up a sweat.

Cotton, modal and polyester make up the three most common fabric types in most men’s underwear.

Satin, acrylic and latex fabrics are available in select underwear types as well as other rare fabrics, such as bamboo and organza. Some manufacturers also have proprietary fabric blends, such as COOLMAX, which is a great option for active wear.

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